Sunday, June 25, 2017

In a troubled world - Isaiah's vision for today

Welcome to our services today and a special welcome to any who are worshipping with us for the first time. It was an invitation to prayer in the ten days from the Day of Ascension to the Day of Pentecost. But that invitation to prayer carries on. Thy Kingdom Come. It’s right at the heart of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray. There is something very down to earth about that prayer. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The next time we pray that prayer let’s be specific in our mind’s eye. Let’s not just think of ‘the earth’ in general. Let’s think of a specific place. Let’s try praying the opening words of the Lord’s prayer with that place in mind. It could be our nation. It could be our town. It could be our street. It could be our work place. It could be our school. It could be our hospital. It could be our house. It could be the room where I am sitting. It could be beside a particular hospital bed. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, here in this place as it is in heaven. This week we arrive at some of the great passages in the book of Isaiah as we move from chapter 7 to chapter 9 to chapter 11. His words show what it’s like when God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. It’s in the life and teaching, in the death and resurrection of the one who taught us that prayer that we can see what that’s like better than anywhere else!

Welcome and Call to Worship
457 All hail the power of Jesus’ name
Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer
Thy Kingdom Come
A Hy-Spirit Song
Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
Hymn: We shall go out with hope of resurrection
Activities for all over 3



Thy will be done
Reading: Isaiah 9:2,6,7 and 11:1-9
241 Isaiah the prophet
On earth as it is in heaven
Prayer and Worship with Hy-Spirit
Prayers of Concern
456 Christ is the world’s true light
Words of Blessing

It’s great to have a focus. The year of the child. The decade of solidarity with …

Maybe I have taken my eye of the ball. Not been quite so aware of the year of … recently.

The problem is at the end of the year the issue is still there. The focus is still needed.

There was an invitation to prayer in the ten days from the Day of Ascension to the Day of Pentecost. But that invitation to prayer carries on. Thy Kingdom Come. It’s right at the heart of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray. There is something very down to earth about that prayer. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Extreme praying – some challenging thoughts from our young people. Interesting places to go to.

The next time we pray that prayer let’s be specific in our mind’s eye. Let’s not just think of ‘the earth’ in general. Let’s think of a specific place. Let’s try praying the opening words of the Lord’s prayer with that place in mind. It could be our nation. It could be our town. It could be our street. It could be our work place. It could be our school. It could be our hospital. It could be our house. It could be the room where I am sitting. It could be beside a particular hospital bed. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, here in this place on earth  as it is in heaven.
A time to share. What place comes to your mind?

Where in your mind’s eye would you go to pray that prayer?

What is the prayer we make?

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

What is God’s will in that place? What does God’s rule look like in that place?

In some ways the wonder of the Lord’s prayer is that it is all embracing. It invites us to put that place, those people, those concerns into God’s hands, trusting that God’s will be done, God’s kingdom come.

The prophet Isaiah shared his vision, his insight, his prophetic words at a specific time in the 8th century BC, in a specific location Jerusalem and the small area around known as Judah, the Southern Kingdom of a divided Israel.

This week we arrive at some of the great passages in the book of Isaiah as we move from chapter 7 to chapter 9 to chapter 11.

He was speaking at a specific moment, in a specific place powerful words that speak into a very specific situation. But there was something about those words that had about them the inspiration of God in a  much wider sense.

Isaiah’s vision of God’s rule, God’s kingdom, sketches out what God’s rule looks like when it happens.

This is what it takes to rule in God’s way for Isaiah.

Some passages stand out as they go to the heart of the matter and, as it were, map out what it takes to rule in God’s way.

They caught the eye of Jesus as he from a young age was steeped in the Scriptures.

He came to usher in God’s kingdom, God’s way of ruling, the prayer he invited his followers to pray, the prayer we pray to this day.

It’s these passages that inspired his ministry. It’s these passages that inspired his followers. It’s these passages we see brought to fulfilment in Jesus.

This is what in Isaiah’s view it would take for Uzziah, Jotham,  Ahaz and then Hezekiah to rule as God’s anointed in a kingdom that would be God’s kingdom in a way that was according to God’s will. This is what should shape their rule.

This what shaped Jesus’ whole ministry as he came to bring in God’s kingdom in God’s way.

Here in these words we can be on the lookout for what it takes to exercise authority and power in God’s way as we pray God’s kingdom come

His words show what it’s like when God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. It’s in the life and teaching, in the death and resurrection of the one who taught us that prayer that we can see what that’s like better than anywhere else!

And his words are an inspiration in our place in our time.

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: ‘Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted. The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on your ancestral house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria.’

God with us.

A sense of the strength and the calm,
The justice and the peace
the grace and the mercy

… of the presence of God – in a little child.

And in Christ it was that presence of God that was so real in him.

As a young woman gave birth and Jesus was recognized as Emmanuel, God with us.



A sense of the presence of God with us in the darkness of the world around us.


The people who walked in darkness
   have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
   on them light has shined.
For a child has been born for us,
   a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
   and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
   and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
   He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
   from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

That’s what it takes – that’s what Isaiah’s vision was …


Peace and Justice and righteousness


A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
   and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
   the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
   the spirit of counsel and might,
   the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.


He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
   or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
   and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
   and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
   and faithfulness the belt around his loins.


The wolf shall live with the lamb,
   the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
   and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
   their young shall lie down together;
   and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
   and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
   on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
   as the waters cover the sea.


Think of each location, each place

What does God’s kingdom look like – the presence of God there

Wonderful counsel

Peace, Justice, righteousness


God on the side of those who are vulnerable


Bringing together those at enmity with each other.

As we turned to prayer we played the artists' for Grenfell single, Like a Bridge over troubled water and then shared a time of prayer together.


So much to pass on at Highbury

If you give a little love you can get a little love of your own

A blessing shared at Highbury

Now and the Future at Highbury

Dreaming Dreams Sharing Visions at Highbury

Dreaming Dreams Sharing Visions

Darkness into Light